The student’s graduation project - 'Chutti: a weaver’s signature' started in 2020. It was started with the brand 'Save the loom' based in Kochi, Kerala. The work with the brand was discontinued and it was pursued as a self-sponsored project for the design studio owned by her family. The project brief was to Design a contemporary collection of Kerala sarees with the hand loom weavers of Chendamangalam to be launched as the first collection of the studio-Design Ladies Collections.
A detailed 2 months-long research work was done on the weaving clusters of Ernakulam. This included documenting the craft, interviewing weavers and allied workers and all the other individuals working in the weaver’s societies. In the light of the research and analysis, the collection was designed over the next six months.
The collection is inspired by the nine rasas of Natyashastra. There are two saree designs for each rasa for a total of 18 sarees. The project was named 'Chutti' after Kerala handloom's long-lost extra weft border which used to be the signature of weavers of Kerala a long time ago. Every weaver was an artist who wanted to leave a trace of them on their works. This simple extra weft border is brought back to life with the project. For designing the saris, a carefully planned process was followed which includes research, analysis, finding metaphors, brainstorming keywords, exploring different types of stripes, etc. One of the most important steps was to draw inspiration from emotions connected to personal memories, ideas, etc. regarding each rasa. The designs were carefully done to revive the traditional weaving techniques along with innovation without overwhelming the weavers. The major target was to slowly undo the years of deskilling caused by many brands and other firms, all while introducing a whole new aesthetics to the craft
Craft Documentation, Handloom Weaving, Innovation, Revival, Sari Design